Mayor Sadiq Khan announces draft Housing Strategy for London

PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 September 2017

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced his draft London Housing Strategy during a visit to the former Robin Hood Garden Estate in east London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced his draft London Housing Strategy during a visit to the former Robin Hood Garden Estate in east London.

PA Wire/PA Images

The mayor has pledged devolution of Stamp Duty, £250m for land acquisition and higher council tax on empty homes

Mr Khan was outraged when the Battersea Power Station development cut its number of affordable homes by 40 per cent earlier this summer Mr Khan was outraged when the Battersea Power Station development cut its number of affordable homes by 40 per cent earlier this summer

In the first week of September the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has made no less than five housing announcements in the run up to the publication of his draft Housing Strategy for London.

Mr Khan warned: “The housing crisis is the biggest challenge facing our city today and I’ve been honest with Londoners from the start – we won’t turn things round overnight. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint and we need to be able to take robust action to tackle it.”

The three month consultation period on the draft London Housing Strategy will end on 7th December, and you can have your say here.

Here’s what it pledges:

New and affordable homes

Work will commence on 90,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2021. The Mayor has secured £250m funding alongside the record £3.15b he has already negotiated for new homes at around social rent levels, London Living Rent levels and as part of Shared Ownership schemes. The £250 million will be used by City Hall to buy and prepare land for the new homes, and Mr Khan has pledged to use Compulsory Purchase powers where necessary.

Mr Khan has pledged to support new housing providers and look at self-build, modular and community-led housing delivery methods. He has also pledged to make it easier for small and medium-sized builders to pay less up front as per the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy.

He said: “It is shameful that a generation of young people are being priced out of the city they grew up in because of the housing crisis. I inherited a development pipeline where just 13 per cent of homes given planning permission were affordable, which is unacceptable. I’ve been honest from the start that turning things round will take time and fixing the housing crisis will be a marathon not a sprint, but my strategy sets out how we can start making a real difference to affordable housing in the city.”

Earlier this week the Mayor rejected a development in Westminster on the site of the former New Scotland Yard that offered just 10 affordable homes, or four per cent of all units. This figure fell to just three percent when developer BL Developments increased the number of homes by 27, with no additional affordable homes. Earlier this year, the Mayor’s Supplementary Planning Guidance stated that developers offering over 35 per cent of affordable housing would be fast-tracked through planning.

London Model of renting

Average rents in the PRS in London have risen five times faster than average earnings in the last seven years according to the Mayor’s office. With one in four of London’s households living in the private rented sector (PRS), the Mayor has proposed a London Model for renting, which will bring together tenants and landlords to consult upon reforms to 30-year old legal arrangements currently dictating the PRS. The Model will aim to solve the problem of insecurity associated with short tenancies, ensure 100,000 Londoners have access to tenancy deposit loans, and allow boroughs to license landlords.

Devolved powers for London

Just seven per cent of tax paid by residents and businesses in the city is redistributed by the Mayor, equating to a reliance on central Government for 74 per cent of its funding.

The average cost of a one bedroom property in London costs more than a three bedroom home in every other region in England. Home ownership is declining, and over 90,000 children live in temporary accommodation, whilst one in 50 Londoners are homeless.

As such, the Mayor has argued that London requires greater devolved powers in order to make decisions that directly impact it. The new powers will be used to acquire more land for new homes, with profits reinvested in the city’s housing. The Mayor said that London cannot control its future “with one hand tied behind our backs.”

The debate about scrapping Stamp Duty continues to rage on, with the London Finance Commission bolstering the argument for the devolution of property taxes.

Mr Khan said: “I will use my powers and resources to their fullest extent, but Government needs to play its part too by giving London the powers and resources we need to see an even greater step-change in the number of homes being built. This launch marks the start of a three-month consultation - I want as many Londoners as possible to let me know their views on how we can improve housing in London.”

John Dickie, director of Strategy and Policy at business group, London First, agreed: “We must start building 50,000 new homes a year to keep the city working. Giving London’s Government greater control over taxes raised here will make it easier to plan, finance and fund investment, helping to unlock the housebuilding that Londoners so desperately need.”

Increased council tax on high-value empty homes

In the wake of a report by LSE, commissioned by Mr Khan, into overseas investment in the housing market and empty homes, the Mayor has proposed boosting council tax on high-value homes left empty to incentivise the owners to either live in the property or, at the very least, to provide additional funding for new homes.

The LSE and University of York’s report found that there was actually a low rate of empty homes in the capital, with more in prime locations. The Mayor said: “In the midst of a housing crisis, just one home left unoccupied is one too many.”

Leader of Westminster Council, Cllr Nickie Aiken, was in agreement. She said: “I support the Mayor’s proposal for greater flexibility to be afforded to local authorities around the amount that could be levied on empty homes. Not only is it an important message to send out, it would also generate additional funds to be invested in our areas for the benefit of local residents. Along with the Mayor I have made it my priority to ensure that we have genuinely affordable housing in the heart of the capital.”

Mr Khan has also proposed an inflation-linked rent settlement, scrapping of Housing Revenue Account borrowing caps for councils, and reform of Right to Buy rules.

A new social housing watchdog

The Mayor has called for a new independent Commissioner for Social Housing Residents to act as a watchdog for the wider socially housed community in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy. His other proposals include access to the housing ombudsman and social housing regulator.

The Mayor said: “I welcomed the Government’s decision to establish the Grenfell Public Inquiry, but I have been clear that the terms of reference are not as broad as I and many residents would have liked. It is crucial that social housing residents are able to have confidence that all the factors which led to the fire and the lacklustre response will be identified and addressed quickly and independently.

“I firmly believe residents must be at the heart of decision-making about the future of social housing. That’s why I am calling on the Prime Minister to work with me and residents to develop a package of measures that guarantee they have a much stronger voice.”

Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ Executive member for housing, added: “In the wake of the Grenfell disaster, the safety of London’s tenants in private, local authority and housing association homes must be the paramount concern for central and local government. A new regulatory regime must ensure that the voices of London’s tenants and leaseholders is built in to its structure and reflected in its culture.”

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

4 ways to transform your Christmas tree

Looking for some seasonal decor inspiration? Gabrielle Fagan reveals her favourite festive finds

Home of the week: Unique penthouse-style apartment in Hampstead

This weeks choice is a property with double volume ceilings and spectacular views over central London

North London developer says the cut to stamp duty is a “gamechanger” for first-time buyers

Abolishing stamp duty for most first-time buyers will make it easier for them to get on the property ladder, according to a north London real estate developer

Comment: My response to the Chancellor’s budget

Trevor Abrahmsohn, director of north London agents Glentree Estates, believes the governments new housing proposals, as part of the Budget 2017, will go some way into making home ownership “a human right, rather than a privilege”

North London agents say government’s abolishment of stamp duty won’t help first-time buyers in the capital

Housing analysts and north London estate agents are among many who believe abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers will have little impact on the capital’s housing crisis

Winter patio pots looking lacklustre? Try 3 things to perk them up

Perk up your winter pots to keep them looking fabulous over the festive season

How to install a hidden wall safe

A discreet safe to keep valuables protected isn’t just something for the rich and famous to consider. Richard Burr reveals how to fit one

Christmas gift guide: 14 top picks for gardeners and green-fingered types

From sweet stocking-fillers to wow-factor pressies, these are bound to delight

Comment: My letter to our illusive housing minister

According to Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard estate agents, the government are failing to deliver a strategic approach in response to the housing crisis

Former Hampstead guesthouse is for sale as a 7 bedroom residential home

Owner, Annemarie van der Meer hopes to sell the property to a buyer looking for a spacious family home

For sale in Highgate: top three

On the market this week are three historic properties with period features, high ceilings and far-reaching views in an eviable location

The Japanese wonder toilet taking the world by storm

TOTO, inventor of the ‘Washlet’, claim the rate of sales for their product in Europe has doubled year on year since launching in 2009

5 things to consider before storing your garden tools away for winter

Give your tools some TLC before you put them away for the winter. Our guide shows you how to look after them - and make them last

Home of the week: Converted Hampstead church

This weeks choice is a former Presbyterian Church, boasting a galleried mezzanine floor with rooftop views

Highgate area guide: schools, shops, pubs and parks

Your guide to things to do in Highgate, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N6

Dress it up: 13 fabulous finds for giving your dressing table a mini or major makeover

With party season approaching, it’s time to take a look in the mirror and reassess your beauty station

5 top home improvements you should do instead of moving

Richard Burr reveals how to gain more space in your house

Four in ten London home sellers are cutting asking prices, the highest figure since 2010

Sellers have cut asking prices by an average of 6.7 per cent over the last month, according to new figures

Is it too late to plant bulbs? Not if you follow our guide

There’s still time to plant tulips and bring vibrant colour to your garden next spring

Three new properties on the market in Paddington

Paddington 2 was recently released in cinemas, but there’s more to this area than the bear with a fondness for marmalade

Belsize Park area guide: restaurants, schools, cinema and celebrities

Your guide to things to do in Belsize Park, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools. PLUS our guide to property in NW3

Internationally renowned fireplace brand opens showroom in north London

The new gallery features high ceilings and an abundance of natural light, the perfect space for showcasing fireside, outdoor living and architectural products

3 wallpaper experts reveal their top style tips for 2018

Gabrielle Fagan speaks to those-in-the-know and reveals their top tips and wallpaper trend predictions for next year

Need more storage? How to build sturdy shelves in your alcoves in 5 simple steps

Richard Burr reveals top tips to help DIYers get the job done

For sale in Belsize Park: top three

On the market this week are two stucco-fronted properties with contemporary living space and a red-brick apartment featuring a private terrace

There’s lots to think about when it comes to buying a new carpet

Property columnist Jane Howdle weighs up practicality vs aesthetic

Home of the week: Hampstead Way

This weeks choice is set on a tree lined road, boasting a large lawned garden and an abundance of natural light

Rising interest rates and what it means for homeowners

The hike in interest rates is likely to send mortgage bills higher for millions of families and further disrupt the property market, according to a north London agent

How to make your supermarket basil last longer

Fed up with spending a fortune on supermarket basil? Follow our guide to making it last longer

Why we’re not all equipped for renovating

Columnist Jane Howdle explains why she’ll never buy a property that needs renovating

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2017 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant